Rally in San Leandro meant to uplift AAPI community in wake of hate, violence

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- In the East Bay, a rally was held to celebrate and uplift the AAPI community, while denouncing hate and violence, which seems to be occurring everyday.

California's new attorney general was there with a commitment to stand with the community.

RELATED: 11-year-old, 17-year-old arrested in attack, robbery of older Asian man in San Leandro

Organizers say they wanted to celebrate the AAPI community. Pastor Carl Pascual says he and his family were there for that.

"We're standing out here to say we don't want to be afraid, we don't want to worry about who we are, we want to be proud of who we are," said Pascual.

But many in the AAPI community are still worried and afraid.

"Every day's a nightmare, in Oakland people getting robbed and beat up," said Barry Szeto.

VIDEO: 80-year-old Asian man attacked in San Leandro driveway
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As San Leandro Police discover attacks toward Asian Americans have spiked nearly 300% since 2020, new video of a recent assault and robbery of an 80-year-old Asian man is prompting residents in one neighborhood to speak out.

A recent attack in San Leandro, caught on a neighbor's security camera shows an 80-year-old Asian man knocked to the ground, while one teen attackers is heard laughing.

In San Leandro alone, police say crimes against the AAPI community were up 300 percent from 2019 to 2020.

"As a department, we're not going to tolerate any hate-related crimes here, said acting San Leandro Police Chief Luis Torres.

Many in the AAPI community are looking to California's new attorney general to lead on fighting hate crimes.

RELATED: 2 older Asian women stabbed in broad daylight while waiting for bus in downtown SF

"We have seen members of the AAPI community yelled at, spit at and punched in the face," said Bonta.

Bonta says he's prioritizing protecting AAPI individuals from crime.

"We need to make sure, those who commit hate crimes are held accountable, we're investigating hate crimes as such. To the AAPI community I say, I see you, I value you, I am you," Bonta said.

The community says it will keep holding rallies calling out hate, to end the violence.

"So our legislators need to do more, our work places need to do more, but so do we," said Xouhoa Bowen, CEO Community Impact Lab.

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